OU Library guidance to students on citations for journal articles reads as follows:
Using this reference I should be able to run a pretty good known item search – or not, as the case may be?
So where does the full reference – Journal, for example – help exactly? On Google, maybe… (Actually, the one search may search all tuples in different fields – so the title as well as a the journal title – and generate retrieval/ranking factors based on that?)
References and search contexts are complementary – for a reference to be effective,it needs to work with your search context, which typically means the user interface of your search system – for a specific known item reference this typically means the (hidden away) advanced search interface.
So I wonder: whilst we penalise students from not using full, formal references (even though they often provide enough of a reference to find the item on Google), the officially provided search tools don’t let you use the information in the formal reference in a structured way to retrieve and hopefully access (rather than discover – the reference is the discovery component) the desired item?
Or am I reading the above search UI incorrectly…?
PS in terms of teaching material design, and referencing the above citation example, erm….?
Because of course I’m not searching for a Journal that has something to do with Frodo Baggins – I’m searching for an article…
PPS I’m also finding more and more that the subscription journal content I want to access is from journals that the OU Library doesn’t subscribe to. I’m not sure how many of the journals it does subscribe to that are bundled are never accessed (the data should reveal that)? So I wonder – as academics (and maybe students), should we instead be given a budget code we could use to buy the articles we want? And for articles used by students in courses, get a ‘site license” for some articles?
Now what was the URL of that pirated academic content site someone from the library told me about again…?
PS from the Library – don’s use the reference – just bung the title in the search onebox like you would do on a web search engine..
Hmm… but if I have a full reference, I should be able to run a search that returns just a single result, for exactly the item I want? Or maybe returns links to a few different instances (from different suppliers) of just that resource? But then – which is the preferred one (the Library search ranks different suppliers of the same work according to what algorithm?)
Or perhaps the library isn’t really about supporting know item retrieval – it’s about supporting serendipity and the serendipitous discovery of related items? (Though that begs the question about how the related item list is algorithmically generated?)
Or maybe ease of use has won out – and running a scruffy search then filtering down by facet gives a good chance of effective retrieval with an element of serendipity around similar resources?
(Desperately tries to remember all the arguments libraries used to make against one box searching…)